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Festival International to offer event planning next year

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 14:50:27-05

Festival International de Louisiane will soon offer event planning services in an effort to be less reliant on corporate sponsorships and good weather during the annual five-day event, our media partners at The Advocate reported.

Festival's recent involvement in the Latin Festival and other events were "trial runs" for a program officials hope to roll out next summer. The idea is that, since Festival's crew puts on the biggest outdoor party in Lafayette every year, they can help other groups put on their own outdoor events.

Scott Feehan, executive director of Festival International, tells KATC that nobody should worry about Festival.

"A few years ago, we were in danger, but we have slowly been coming back," he said. "We're headed in the right direction, and if we keep doing that we'll be in good shape. But we're susceptible. If we have a rain-out, that's a big deal."

The aim is two fold, he said: to provide Festival funding with more stability, and to help other non-profits in the area put on amazing events with resources and expertise they might not have.

"It's an eternal challege, to have one event per year. It's big enough that we need the staff year-round to organize it, but it's a volitile thing," Feehan said. "We're trying to be more stable for the long haul. We are trying to provide a really solid foundation so that Festival never goes away."

The plan is to offer different levels of services for outdoor events, from arranging for permits, barricades and security, to assisting with marketing and payment systems.

"These are things we do without even thinking about it. A lot of these things we do, and we take for granted," Feehan explained. "Because we have our entire staff in place year-round, we have extra bandwidth that we can use to help other entities."

The Latin Festival is a good example. There's no staff for that event, it's manned by volunteers, and that's tough, he said. Festival staff were able to help make the Latin Festival even better than it was, and that can help stabilize it.

To read the Advocate's story, which includes details about the Festival's financial issues over the past several years, click here.